8 January 2015

Grace as an Aesthetic Concept

For much of the Western art tradition, the concept of grace has been an important critical concept for its ability to capture the often elusive quality of artistic affect. Often referred to as the “je ne sais quoi” of art - that something extra that cannot be explained – grace even supplanted beauty for many writers (from Giorgio Vasari to Friedrich Schiller) as the highest artistic ideal. Often missing from modern analyses of the concept, however, are its theological foundations. This seminar style course will exam the concept of grace within its theological, philosophical, literary, and art theoretical contexts in an effort to understand both its historical significance and its potential usefulness for the philosophy of art today. We will look at a variety of texts (e.g. from Plato, Cicero, the Pseudo-Dionysius, Dante, John Calvin, Alexander Pope, Friedrich Schiller, Martin Heidegger) as well as works of art for which grace is an important and defining aesthetic concept.

ICS 220103 W15
ICH3758HS L0101 / ICH6758HS L0101
Dr. Rebekah Smick
Thursdays 9:30am-12:30pm
(MWS, MA, PhD)